Advance parole is an option available for certain qualifying aliens to re-enter the United States without a visa after traveling outside of the country. In order to re-enter the U.S., you must first be approved for advance parole before initially leaving the country. If you fail to do so, you cannot be permitted back into the U.S. legally without a valid visa.
The primary benefit of advance parole is that it enables you to come back to the U.S. after traveling abroad without obtaining a visa. The second benefit of advance parole is that it preserves the adjustment of status application pending with the USCIS. If you have a valid H-1 visa (temporary worker in a specialty occupation) or an L-1 visa (intra-company transferee), neither you nor your dependents that have filed an adjustment of status application must file for Advance Parole as long as you (and your dependents) maintain the H-1 or L-1 status. You and your dependents will still need one of those visas to come back to the country.
Who Is Eligible for Advance Parole?
If you are an alien in the United States, wish to travel abroad, and have the following conditions met; you may then apply for advance parole:
- Your application for adjustment of status is pending.
- You have been admitted as a refugee or have been granted asylum.
- You have been granted benefits under the Family Unity Program.
- You have been granted Temporary Protected Status.
- An asylum application is pending on your behalf.
Keep in mind that USCIS only grants advance parole if your travel abroad is intended for educational, employment, or humanitarian purposes. You must indicate one of the following purposes on your application:
- Educational purposes (i.e. semester abroad programs or academic research)
- Employment purposes (i.e. overseas assignments, interviews, conferences, training, or meetings with clients).
- Humanitarian purposes (i.e. obtaining medical treatment, attending funeral services for a family member, or visiting an ailing relative)
Travel for vacation is not a valid purpose.
Who Is Ineligible for Advance Parole?
You will be considered ineligible for advance parole under the following circumstances:
- You are in the United States without a valid immigration status.
- You are an exchange alien subject to the foreign residence requirement.
- You are still in possession of a valid, previously issued re-entry permit.
- You are the beneficiary of a private bill.
- You are currently under removal proceedings.
How to Apply for Advance Parole
If you wish to apply for advance parole, you must fill out Form I-131 (Application for Travel Document). The fee for this application is $575 for Application Types A, D, E, and F (re-entry permits and advance parole applicants). If you are applying for this Form for a refugee travel document, the fee is only $135 for applicants 16 years-old and up and $105 for anyone younger.
You do not, however, need to pay an additional fee for filing Form I-131 if:
- You are filing Form I-131 Application Type B or D.
- You filed a Form I-485 with a fee on/after July 30, 2007.
- Your Form I-485 is still pending.